These days are full.
Full of laundry and cooking and a seemingly never-ending pile of dishes in the sink…and on the counter…and often on the floor when I run out of counter space.
Full of carefully stepping down icy sidewalks and over slushy curbs.
Full of boots and hats and mittens and scarves and that frozen eyeball feeling.
Full of chasing this boy around and putting every book we own back on its shelf.
Full of teaching him to high five and giving Russian accents to his stuffed animals.
Full of wanting to do something drastic to my hair.
Full of knowing I’d probably pull it back into a messy ponytail everyday even if I did.
Full of parking tickets…but more on that another time.
Full of sub-zero temps and electric blankets. Full of soups and stews and anything warm and hearty that gives me an excuse to turn my oven on. Like these quesadillas.
I was drawn to this recipe at first because it looked filling and cheap…basically spicy mashed potatoes inside of a quesadilla. And at first glance, it looks a little Plain Jane…but I doctored it up with some black beans and toasted cumin seeds and some red bell peppers (from the freezer of course)…and suddenly I had an earthy, spicy, very filling…well, filling stuffed inside a perfectly crisped tortilla shell.
If I had to describe this recipe in three words: easy. cheap. warming.
Baked inside of the tortilla shell, the potato filing gets steamy hot…the kind of hot that you feel inside your belly – in a good way. Plus, this recipe makes a ton…we’ve had this leftover several times, and I like it even more each time I have it as the potatoes and spices have had some time to get all chummy with each other in the fridge.
Hoping your days are full of all that is good and warm and delicious.
(recipe adapted from Simply In Season )
(yields 8 servings)
This frugal quesadilla recipe is filled with savory and slightly spiced mashed potatoes and black beans, baked inside a crispy shell. I adapted the original recipe by using potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, adding toasted cumin seeds (which I loved!) and black beans which added a nice balance of flavor. I also added some bell pepper we had frozen that gave it just a little bit of texture.
4 c. potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed (about 10 med. potatoes)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, then mashed
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. each dried basil, marjoram, chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted (or a scant tablespoon ground cumin)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (or 1 1/2 c. frozen bell pepper, thawed)
salt and pepper to taste
flour tortillas (I recommend 10")
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated & divided
-salsa, sour cream, cilantro for serving
1. To toast the cumin seeds if using, place them in a small pan over medium heat. Shaking the pan or stirring FREQUENTLY, toast over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until cumin is quite fragrant. Then remove to a plate and set aside.
2. Mash black beans with the back of a fork or in a food processor. Set aside.
3. After you peel the potatoes, cut them into small chunks (1 1/2 inch). Place them in a pot and cover them with water (at least one inch above potatoes). Cover pot and bring to boiling, then boil for about 15 minutes. When potatoes are fork-tender, drain water, mash, and set aside.
4. As potatoes cook, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add oregano, basil, marjoram, chili powder, cumin (ground or toasted seeds), and red pepper flakes; saute one more minute. Add bell pepper and saute for one more minute. Turn off heat and add potatoes and 1 c. of cheese, stirring the mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Preheat oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with foil, and brush olive oil over it to grease the foil. Place tortillas on the foil, and spread about a tbsp. of the smashed black beans on half of the tortilla, leaving about a 1/2 inch border on the edges (the mixture will expand while baking, so the border is important!). Spread about 3/4-1 c. of the potato mixture over the beans and then sprinkle 2-3 tbsp. of cheese over that. Fold the tortilla over and brush the top with olive oil.
6. Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned on top.
Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream, and chopped cilantro.